Review Details

When Helping Hurts

Product Review (submitted on May 18, 2010):
For some reason I found it a task to listen to this audiobook. But as I forced myself to listen it, I found out how practical this book is to my line of work. I work as a houseparent, and I take care of children who have grown up in poverty. Many of the parents have been enabled. In fact, I think I'm personally guilty of helping enable a parent or two.
There are several things I like about “When Helping Hurts”. The North American church, in it's arrogance, thinks it knows what the poor need and how it can meet those needs. In reality, the church just comes in and basically bandages wounds without actually healing the problem.
“When Helping Hurts” uses the Gospel as the basis and emphasis for helping the poor. This is biblical and I believe it contrasts the “social justice” trend that so many churches are involved in. It seems that so many churches want to provide help and relief for the poor, but it seems that they don't share the Gospel with those they're helping. And if those churches are sharing the Gospel, they aren't putting a strong emphasis on it.
One thing I don't like about the book is the narrator. He has a warm voice, but his pacing was slow. And because of the practical suggestions and applications of this book, I believe it's better read than listened to. It's difficult to quickly get to a section of an audiobook you want to review. I believe a book is easier to reference and share information with people.
Overall, this is an important, eye-opening book. I have ideas that churches should implement to enable the poor with the life skills needed to break the cycle of poverty. I highly recommend this book for those who are involved in humanitarian work, missions, and churches.